TechnologyHighcon Euclid Digital Finishing Technology
The Highcon(tm) Euclid series of digital cutting and creasing machines deliver differentiation that printers, converters, brand owners, and retailers have been waiting for. By bringing the advantages of digital technology to post-print, Highcon transforms "finishing" into a value-adding process.
The Highcon Euclid machines convert paper, labels, folding cartons, and microflute. While laser cutting has been around in print production for some time, what's unique with the Euclid is that it creates the creasing digitally from data received from standard DXF files produced by any graphic design software.
Creasing is carried out by the Highcon patented Digital Adhesive Rule Technology, (DART). The creasing data from the DXF file is sent to the special DART canister, which releases resin onto a Highcon DART foil in the form of rules that, once cured, will produce hard raised lines.
The separation of the cutting from the creasing into two separate steps, but in one pass, removes the limitations that have resulted from them being implemented together on the conventional die. So cut lines can be closer together, cuts can be made across creases, and creases can be used as a design element themselves.
"The DART technology was an innovative approach to create crease lines," noted one judge.
The cutting is done by an array of high-powered CO2 lasers combined with scanners and advanced optics which perform the cutting design laid out in the software. The laser can produce etching effects, variable cutouts, perforations (like zipper tears), scoring, and numerous other effects.
In production, sheets pass from the feeder along the conveyor to the DART station. Underneath the DART upper drum, on which the foil has been wrapped and written, is a second drum covered with a blanket-like counter. As the sheets pass between the two drums, the crease is made.
Each sheet then passes automatically along the conveyor to the cutting station and on to the stacker. The Euclid handles up to 1,500 B1 sheets (30 x 42 in.; 76 x 106 cm) per hour depending on the crease line length, type of substrate, and job complexity. Double sheets (from 12.5 x 18.0 in.; 320 x 457 mm or 30.0 x 18.5 in. to 760 x 470 mm) can also run in one machine cycle, thus doubling productivity.
The cutting can be made using variable data for each single sheet. This opens up a whole range of new applications, limited only by the imagination of the designer. The precision of the laser cutting also makes it possible to cut much smaller details than conventional analog cutting--unique to the Highcon Euclid system or even to add etching as a design element.
Finally, of course, jobs are simply stored on a memory stick--not in a warehouse.
One of Euclid's early adopters remarked, "This digital cutting and creasing machine brings huge benefits to the flexibility of our processes, our responsiveness to our customers, and our design capabilities."